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Urban life in early Islamic Morocco: new light from the excavations at Walīla (Roman Volubilis)

Fentress, Elizabeth; Fenwick, Corisande; Limane, Hassan; (2022) Urban life in early Islamic Morocco: new light from the excavations at Walīla (Roman Volubilis). Archaeology International , 25 (1) pp. 111-131. 10.14324/111.444.ai.2022.08. Green open access

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Abstract

This article presents a research update from the INSAP-UCL excavations at the UNESCO site of medieval Walīla (Roman Volubilis), Morocco. Though the site is best known as the Roman city of Volubilis, in the Middle Ages, and by then called Walīla, it took on a new importance as a Berber centre, the probable locale of an Umayyad or Abbasid garrison and the capital of Idrīs I, the founder of one of the earliest Islamic states in Morocco. It is the only site in Morocco – and in North Africa more generally – where excavations have uncovered substantial evidence of eighth-century urbanism. As such, Walīla provides an exceptional opportunity to investigate the nature of a Berber town and its transformation into, for a short time, the centre of one of the earliest Islamic states in North Africa. This article presents a summary of our results from the four seasons of fieldwork that have taken place so far, between 2018 and 2022.

Type: Article
Title: Urban life in early Islamic Morocco: new light from the excavations at Walīla (Roman Volubilis)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/111.444.ai.2022.08
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ai.2022.08
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Morocco, urbanism, Islamic archaeology, medieval archaeology, North Africa
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163409
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